Author's Notes: I would, first of like, like to apologize for the delay in posting this chapter. I would also like to thank those who have faved, reviewed or marked this story or me,as an author, for alerts. This is also a short chapter. It was supposed to be longer, but I feared that, if I wrote more, I would never be able to post in my self-imposed delay.
So, again, THANK YOU to those who have been patient with me, and i do hope you'll enjoy the next chapter of Silver Rose!
Disclaimer: Of course I don't own the characters of Sailor Moon or Yu Yu Hakusho
Last time in "Silver Rose" :
"That will not be necessary, Koenma-sama," said Youko. "And you have come just in time. I was about to present my council to the court of the Silver Millennium and their Princess. Welcome to Makai, Princess Serenity, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Jupiter."
"Princess Serenity?" The voices of the Senshi raised in astonishment.
Lunaria leveled a glare on Youko Kurama and with a flare of power from the Silver Crystal, she transformed into Princess Serenity, turning to her Senshi: "I'm sorry to have deceived you, but it had to be done. I am not going to apologize, nor am I going to explain my reasons right now. Please, stand beside me. Or return to the Moon. But whatever you decide, this peace treaty will be underway!"
At her words, Venus was the first to bow slightly to Serenity and took her place at the back and to the left of Serenity. Mars was immediately at the right of Serenity, with Jupiter next to Venus, behind and to the right. Mercury was in front of Venus. These were the places that the Inner planet Senshi always adopted in court, when presented as Serenity's court. As the girls were arranging themselves, Youko was looking right into Serenity's eyes, as if he could read her soul. The Crown Princess of Silver Millennium did not even flinch from the intense gaze directed on her. As soon as the Senshi were arranged, she began speaking, slipping easily into the role of diplomat, a role that she had been trained into her whole life:
"Consider this meeting the beginning of the peace treaty between the Silver Alliance and the Makai. On behalf of the Silver throne stand Serenity, Crown Princess of the Silver Alliance, Princess Venus, Princess Mars, Princess Mercury and Princess Jupiter. Who stand by you, Youko Kurama?" As each planet was called, the Senshi bowed slightly to the four demons and Koenma.
"On behalf of Makai stand Youko Kurama, Hiro, leader of Alric, Yukino, lord of the Frozen lands, Ling, ruler of Tourin and Koenma, future ruler of Reikai."
The peace negotiations did not take too long. After all, both the Makai and the Silver Alliance had the same purpose: to help each other against the threat of the Negaverse. Of course, the Senshi were weary of their new allies. Who ever heard of demons and Senshi working together? But both parties were given an incentive in the form of both Serenity and Youko. The two leaders were defying every norm and, besides a peace treaty, they have also formed a friendship. In the end, the treaty was signed and, to celebrate, Serenity organized a ball, where she invited the demons and Koenma.
Arriving back on the Moon, the Senshi and Serenity rushed to get ready for that night. As Venus and Serenity had adjoining rooms, the two blondes walked side by side.
"Serenity, when were you going to tell us?" asked Venus. She was angry at herself for not noticing that Lunaria was in fact, her Princess.
"I was going to tell you soon. The fact that Youko Kurama spotted me means that my disguise was not that efficient after all. And my mother too. She knew the moment I transformed for the first time in front of her."
"Oh, Serenity… what am I going to do now? How can I, in good faith, continue training you? I put you through the worst training imaginable, all in order to create the perfect Senshi of the Moon. Venus no baka! I should have realized." Venus was in full rant mode, but Serenity stopped her with a raised hand.
"I will continue training, Venus. Outside the training grounds I am still Serenity. But on them, I am Lunaria. And I am under your command."
"All right then. But the demons must NOT know of this! It is enough that they now know that you can assume two forms. I will not give them any more tips about us," said Venus, entering her room and leaving Serenity smiling lightly.
The ball, as all the balls held by the Moon was magnificent. The food and music was the finest in the solar system and the guests were only royals from the planets of the Silver Alliance, as well as the four demons and Koenma. While the ball was in full swing, Serenity excused herself from the entourage and left for the gardens. She was feeling drained from the polite chit chat, she felt under scrutiny from both her mother – who wanted all the details of the alliance with the demons – and Youko Kurama, who kept looking in her direction. Well, she couldn't help look back. All the other guests, although polite, were also infuriating, as they all looked at Kurama, Hiro and Yukino with thinly veiled curiosity and, in the case of Mars' king, even disgust.
The blue light coming from the Earth was soothing for Serenity and, coupled with the quiet rush of a stream that cut through the garden, was enough to relax the Princess of the Silver Alliance. She sat on a bench and, closing her eyes, she let go of the tightly bound power of the Ginzouishou. It bathed the garden in a pure silvery light and, for a few moments, Serenity felt truly at peace.
"What a powerful aura!" resounded a deep and strong voice from behind her. Serenity turned to see Youko Kurama silhouetted against the lights of the palace.
"Oh! You startled me, King Youko! You are not at the ball?" Serenity inquired, as she pulled her power back inside her and into the Crystal.
"And have hundreds of eyes watch me? Have thousands of hands just itching to touch my ears and tail like I'm some kind of animal for their pleasure? I think not! I am surprised Hiro has not yet torched the place," Youko smiled.
Serenity could see that, although indeed bothered by the scrutiny, Youko was not really mad.
"Then, may I invite you to a walk in the gardens, King Youko?" asked Serenity, almost immediately regretting her decision. What would her mother say if she knew her daughter was walking in the gardens alone with a man? But she pushed the thought from her mind at Youko's reply:
"On one condition. You do not address me as 'King' and I do not address you as 'Serenity' or 'Princess'."
"Very well, Youko."
As they walked along one of the paths of the garden, Youko jokingly said that, like this, he would have both the pleasure of Serenity's company and the opportunity to restock his arsenal.
"Your arsenal, Youko? What do you mean by that?" asked Serenity, who was surprised by the statement.
"I am a kitsune-type demon. There are two types of power that run in our blood: fire and the power to control the earth. I have the power over earth." With that, Youko reached into his hair, taking out a beautiful blood-red rose, and, with a twirl and a burst of youki, he transformed it into a green whip, littered with thorns. Serenity was awed by the power coming from such a slender weapon, but she remembered that Venus also had a whip as one of her weapons and it could also cause enough damage to the enemy. Youko retracted the whip and, with a flourish, presented the rose to Serenity. The princess took it. Roses were very rare flowers on the Moon, and none were the vivid color of that one. The roses grown by lord Fiore were all soft pastels. Serenity made a mental note to give the rose to Fiore and urge him to experiment.
"Lunaria, if I may ask a question?"
Youko's voice startled Serenity out of her thoughts. "Of course, Youko."
"Your Senshi seemed very disturbed at seeing you in Makai. Why?"
"First of all, they are not MY Senshi. They are the warriors that have sworn to protect the peace of the Silver Alliance. Among the duties they have to perform, they also have the duty of protecting me from anything that may harm me. As of late, I thought that I had had enough of the protection. You could say I rebelled. That is why I took on the guise of Lunaria, a servant of Lady Venus. But you ruined that guise. I should be very cross with you, you know?" said Serenity in a mock angry tone.
Youko just smiled, and his eyes were a bit softer. "And do you have any other powers, besides the one to change your appearance?" asked again the Demon King.
Serenity blushed and lowered her head. She had promised Venus that she will not tell the demons any more of their secrets, and that included her being Sailor Moon. "As all the heirs of the Silver Crystal, I can heal and, when my mother teaches me, the power to seal away evil."
"I see," said Youko. "Would you like to learn something else too? To fight, maybe?"
"I would, but my powers do not permit me to fight. The power of the Moon is in healing, not injuring," Serenity said, although she felt a pang of guilt for lying to Youko.
"But the Senshi can fight, right?"
"Yes, of course they can. Youko, why are you asking me all these questions?"
"Because I want to run an offer by you. Your Senshi are powerful. But if trained by demons they would have an edge against our common enemy."
The thought of being trained by the demons had Serenity thinking of all the possibilities. They could indeed get an edge against the enemy, as it would only know of their current strength. But she was still cautious. So she replied that Youko would have to talk to Venus about training the Senshi, to which Youko agreed. They finished their walk in silence, each enjoying the presence of the other.
The second day found all the Senshi, in their battle uniforms in the training courtyard. Moon was just telling Venus about her talk with Youko and Venus was just about to berate her Princess for being reckless, when, out of nowhere, a green whip whistled past her ears. She turned, with her own whip in hand, only to find herself blocked by a sword, held by Hiro.
"I thought we gave you a bit of a run, hm, Venus?" said the demon. "We fight our way, you fight your way. See who wins."
"And to be fair, we will even let all of you fight," said Youko. His eyes were on the new Senshi. Her power was familiar to him, but the glamour she had on her prevented him from actually knowing who was under the transformation.
"All of us?" asked Uranus. "Are you really that conceited that you think we could not beat you in one on one fights?" The princess of Uranus was known in the entire system for her strength and speed, only equaled by the princess of Neptune, her partner.
"No offense meant, Sailor Uranus, but your auras are not as powerful as ours" replied Ling, in a bored tone. That was what made Uranus lose her temper. In a flash she was in front of the ruler of Tourin and, with a cry of "World Shaking!" she blasted the pavement in front of the demon. But imagine her surprise when she was pushed from behind by a swift kick. The demon was behind her and had surprised the senshi.
"I think that will suffice!" said Ling. "Unless you want another round?"
Those words launched an all-out attack by the senshi: fire, water, ice, wind, a metal whip, a storm of electricity, even the gates of hell opened. The demons moved rapidly from their spots and attacked in kind. The only one that had not yet unleashed her attack was Sailor Moon. The moment Uranus provoked Ling, she had retreated to the back of the fight. Now, as the demons and senshi were sparring, she could analyze their movements. And, in one decisive move, she put her hand to her tiara, and, concentrating, she shouted her attack: "Moon Tiara Action!" The golden disk of the tiara flew straight in the middle of the fray, lightly injuring Hiro, who was locked in hand-to-hand battle with Jupiter, and heading towards Youko, who was engaging in a fight with Venus. Sailor Venus, seeing the flying disk coming towards her, jumped away, but Youko did not have the same reaction. He raised his whip and, with a flick of his wrist, sent the tiara off its course. It clattered on the pavement of the training court.
"A powerful weapon. But if I could caution you to concentrate more on your target and make it move faster, it would be a formidable weapon against any foe."
The Senshi were in awe. Their attacks were efficient and powerful. And yet, these demons flicked them away like nothing. The only who actually did any damage had been Sailor Moon, but only because of the concentrated healing power of the Moon Tiara, who was so conceived to destroy any dark energy. And even that was powerless against the Rose Whip and Youko's mastery of its energy.
"So, what did we learn from this exercise?" asked Ling with a teasing tone to his voice.
"That your attacks are powerful, but they lack direction. If used in a melee type battle, you would hinder each other and even injure each other. You need to learn how to aptly maneuver your energy. How to make it flow seamlessly through your bodies. It is good that most of you have the same type of energy as us. So, to make it easier on both our sides, I will pair you," said Youko.
Venus was about to protest, but she remained quiet, remembering very well that she also had to dodge some of her team mates' attacks while in combat. She just hoped she would not be paired with Youko. She had a feeling it would not go so well.
"All right, then. Hiro, pair up with Sailor Mars. Yukino, with Mercury and Neptune. Yes, Uranus, I'm separating the two of you, no need to glare at me. Ling, you , Jupiter and Uranus. As for me, well, I guess Venus, Moon and Pluto. I know, the Guardian of the Time Gates has no time to train much, but you must know at least a bit of hand-to-hand combat."
As the teams scattered around the field, Venus sighed. At least, she was together with Moon and Pluto. She hoped Youko will not critique her technique too much. It was a vain hope. The next few weeks were filled with fights between the teams Youko created. And even inside the teams. It all depended on the demons. One day, Youko even brought another of his demons with him, Tsukiyomi. He paired up with Pluto, and taught her more hand-to-hand combat. Even Koenma joined them from time to time. The Senshi had almost no time to even catch their breaths. But something else came from these intense trainings: a deeper respect and friendship as forming between the Senshi and the demons. If at first, Mars and Neptune were reluctant to even train with the two demons, now they were seeking them out, Mars, more so than Neptune. Of course, much of the Moon's training courts have been burned to the ground during the spars of Hiro and Mars, but they were now friends. Many of the Moon courtiers even whispered of a secret kiss one of them had witnessed between the two fiery individuals. Yukino had discovered in Mercury both a physical sparring partner as well as an intellectual one. They were evenly matched on both. Ling and Jupiter were seen most of the time together, either sparring, or discussing the best soil for a certain type of plant. Even the stoic Sailor Pluto was seen with a shy blush on her cheeks, in the company of Tsukiyomi. Koenma, although a rare appearance in the Lunar court, was seen courting, in a very subtle manner, the princess of Venus. Among all these budding romances, only Serenity and Youko seemed unperturbed. They only met at formal dinners, and then they exchanged polite talk. Sailor Moon and Youko, though, had intense sparring sessions, almost every day. Youko seemed more focused on her than any other.
One day, Sailor Moon was training by herself. She wanted to become more powerful. She could feel the drain of the Ginzouishou. It seemed that every time she used her attack, it became more and more difficult to contain the Silver Crystal. And since her mother had begun training her in the sealing art, it was even more draining. One good thing came from these intense sessions, though: she was closer to Youko than she could have ever imagined. The image she had of him, of an able diplomat had changed to encompass his ability as a warrior. As always, hen alone and deep in thought, the reins she had on the Silver Crystal slipped and, all of a sudden, she was encompassed in a cocoon of light. When it dissipated, her costume had changed. Instead of the usual blue skirt, Sailor Moon now had a white skirt, with a double trim, of blue and gold. The skirt had as a clasp a red heart in which there was a crescent moon, similar to the one Serenity had on her brow, and behind her flowed a sheer white ribbon. The shoulder guards were now made of sheer material and the broach holding together the ribbon on her chest was a heart with a crescent moon on it. Her tiara had also changed. It also had a crescent moon instead of the red jewel. Sailor Moon's hair also sported hair clips similar to the ones she wore as Princess Serenity.
"I knew it was you!"
Startled by the voice behind her, Sailor Moon lost her transformation and her costume became her princess gown. As she was turning around, she already knew who was behind her and she was not disappointed to find Youko Kurama.
"You knew? How could you have known?" she asked.
"Your power. It is distinctive. Remember the first time you fought us? I felt the concentrated healing power of the Moon inside your tiara. You said it yourself. That is the power of the Moon: healing. From there, it was not difficult to understand who exactly was hiding underneath the glamour of Sailor Moon. I must say, though, your Senshi glamour is much more powerful than the one in your untransformed state."
Serenity was left speechless, though it did not last for long. "Oh, Venus is going to KILL me!" she wailed, in an undignified way, most unbecoming of a princess, much less of the Crown Princess of the Silver Alliance. Youko just smiled and let loose a small laugh. He was amused by the changes he could see in the princess. She could be the embodiment of poise during court, a very powerful warrior during training and, if she allowed herself, a simple girl. He knew his feelings for the young woman in front of him could get him moon-dusted or sealed away, but he felt attracted by both her power – like any demon – and by her personality. His next action made the princess shut up from the rant she had launched herself into. In a bold move, Youko took her in his arms and kissed her on the mouth. The result was unexpected: the Crystal enveloped them both in its light and lifted them from the ground. Serenity, although shocked by the demon's actions, closed her eyes and responded to the kiss. She felt the Crystal envelop them in light and knew, without a doubt, that the feelings she had developed for the Demon King were pure and strong. Strong enough to defy her mother's laws, to defy time.